How do I get a job in Canada if I’m not a resident?
How do I get a job in Canada if I’m not a resident?
We receive literally hundreds of emails every month from prospective migrants who need a job in order to get into Canada (or simply to eat once they are here) asking us whether we can help them to get the job or how they should go about doing it. Naturally it is the biggest concern for anyone moving from one country to another.
Given that it is now crucial to your chances of successfully migrating here for many Federal Skilled Immigrant Category applicants you need to have some guidance on the matter.
Just because you have a job at home does not mean you will find a job here. That is the first warning.
Just because you may be granted residence of Canada without a job also does not mean you are employable here.
Just because Canada has trade and health skills shortages (possibly in your area of work) does not mean any Canada employer will be interested in employing you.
The fact is that the vast majority of you are going to require that offer of employment in order to make living in Canada a reality. We receive hundreds of letters and electronic messages from people telling us that they have sent off many curriculum vitae to Canada companies, schools or other potential employers and have not yet been offered any job. They seem surprised. We are not.
Most of the net based recruitment companies clearly point out on their job sites that you cannot apply for the job if you do not have residence or a work permit. But you may be in the position where can’t get residence without a job and you (usually) cannot get a work permit without being offered a job. So what gives?
How do you reconcile these obvious contradictions?
The first thing to do is to appreciate that our immigration policies are as dysfunctional as the next country’s. This is not to excuse it; just to state that our bureaucrats and Government have come no closer to solving this problem than most Governments. We don’t know why as it is not rocket science!
On the one hand Canada does have in many sectors a trades and health shortage of skilled workers. The Government has introduced some new policies such as the work to residence programmes to try and address this issue. They may work to alleviate shortages but they don’t appear to be a roaring success.
The fact is our employers would always prefer to employ locally if possible for reasons of cultural certainty and because they don’t want to deal with Canada Immigration Department if they can avoid it.
On the other hand they often have little choice as local candidates become more and more scarce.
However, Canada employers, like those in your own country we are sure, are reluctant to employ people that:
1. They have not met face to face and had a chance to talk to, and
2. Can have no guarantee of getting a work permit/visa for if they offer them work (regardless of the torture they have been through in trying to fill the position locally) because policy settings and the attitude of the bureaucrats can make it so difficult, and
3.Do not have residency in Canada and possibly never will, and who understandably are reluctant to “burn their bridges” at home and come over to Canada to take up a job (if one was offered) without any guarantee of residence.
If we haven’t put you off you might just make a good migrant……
Clearly there are major difficulties lying ahead of you. How do you get around the problem? Is it possible to find work without visiting Canada?
The short answer in 95% of cases is no. If you are a nurse, possibly; a n IT specialist, Engineer or a tradesman you might get very lucky.
The first thing which you should do before even contemplating seeking employment in Canada is to find out from a lisenced immigration consultant what your options are with regard to meeting Canadian entry criteria, whether that be temporary or permanent and what issues you might confront.
No point looking for a job if you are unlikely to either gain a work visa or residence.
We are constantly amazed how many people find jobs in Canada expecting to be able to stay permanently only to be told that their chances are virtually non existent because they do not meet permanent entry criteria. Often this has occurred after they have shipped goods to Canada, uprooted their spouses and children and naturally it comes as a great shock when they get here. So before you do anything else, ask for our questionnaire, e-mail it to us along with your payment for one of our licensed consultants assessment fee and we will then advise you whether we can get you to the starting gates!
If after they have assessed your options we believe residency is a genuine possibility (or a work permit is) and you require an offer of employment their advice to you will be quite simple.
If they believe you have sufficient points (less the 50 – 60 a job offer is worth under the Federal Skilled immigrant Category) and they believe that you are employable (if necessary they will discuss your employability with qualified recruitment specialists), we will advise you to seriously consider retaining them. They will then advise you on what is required to file your Expression of Interest (in permanent residence) and on the basis we believe you will then receive your invitation to apply for residence they will instruct you on what documents you require, encourage you to travel to Canada, seek work and once you have found a job instructing us to apply for both work and residence permits at the same time. If you do so and have a willing employer (who will jump through the necessary hoops – which many will when they have our guidance) then the work permit should be secured within a few weeks while the residence process takes its course at the same time.
The alternative (and less certain route) will be to buy an airline ticket and book a trip to Canada, which will last at least 4 weeks to 4 months to find a job before beginning to prepare to lodge residence papers. The risk of failure is far higher if this approach is taken as the time frames become drawn out and employers don’t like being kept waiting.
Might it be possible to line up interviews before you land in Canada?
Possibly, but again it is less likely than if you are here. If you have some specialised skill and a patient employer-to-be in Canada then this does happen especially in occupations where there is a desperate shortage. You should really only begin this process a few weeks before you get here or you will be of little interest to employers and recruitment agencies.
It is unlikely a recruitment company will market you in this way before you are here to actually attend any interviews they might be able to line up.
So generally our advice is to start this process when you are here.
Who is the best person to market my skills?
Once you are in Canada we believe that as a general rule the best person to market you is you.
Around 40% of all migrants get jobs because they have identified companies that might be able to use their skills and have approached them directly – often those companies were not even advertising.
If you have friends or family here and you can tap into their networks that too is a very good way of finding work.
Personnel recruitment agencies generally speaking show n a lack of interest in people who are not permanently resident or who do not have work permits. We know of many who will not deal with you at all if you cannot start work immediately i.e. you need a work permit or residence. They will seldom give you more than a passing consideration as a consequence. Even if they do consider you it will probably be because they have some incredibly desperate employer/client who cannot fill the position locally. This doesn’t mean there aren’t jobs – it just means Recruiters are not interested in helping you because Canada employers are often reluctant to get involved with the immigration process (and having to deal with the immigration bureaucrats) or are reluctant to get involved with migrants full stop. The Recruiters who are paid based on commission understandably prefer the least risk option for them which is get locals because they don’t need work permits. This often applies even if you are a better candidate.
Therefore if you do not want to apply for residence and get your points approved first, we advise the best way of finding a job is as follows:
1. Use Google and search online recruitment sites, and
2. Identify companies which may be able to use your skills and approach them directly. Also local Yellow Pages telephone directory is very helpful in this regard. The yellow pages is now on the internet (http://www.yellowpages.ca),
Try Personnel recruitment companies but don’t be disappointed if they don’t appear overjoyed to see or hear from you.
The role of the Internet in job seeking:
The internet can be incredibly valuable for checking out who is looking for workers and what jobs are going. It appears to be the worst place to look for work if you are an immigrant or thinking of immigrating to Canada. If you check out any of the major internet based job sites almost every one of them will tell you that you must be a Canada resident or citizen to apply. These employers are not interested in thousands of CV’s arriving from offshore by migrants on a job fishing expedition.
It is common to be rejected because “you have no Canada work experience” or “Canada qualifications”. There is nothing you can do about this except try and stay sane. Then if you set your sights lower and apply for lower level jobs you may be told that you are “over-qualified” for the position. This is often a polite way of telling you that the employer does not wish to employ an immigrant who has English or French as a second language or a name they cannot pronounce. Do not let these responses deter you. Those that persevere generally succeed if you have the time, the patience and the drive. This part of the process will really test your commitment!
The bottom line is that the more advanced you are with the residence process the easier it will be to find employment for those with English or French as their home language and who are culturally close to ‘European’ Canadians.
The speed with which migrants obtain work is probably related to how high up they are on the list below:
1.English or French home language, resident permit holder of Canada
2.English or French home language, open work permit holder of Canada
3.English or French second language, resident permit holder of Canada
4.English or French second language, work permit holder of Canada
5.English or French home language not in Canada
6.English or French second language, not in Canada – a big ask!
According to the findings of the ongoing Immigration Survey – wave one, 90% of immigrants who reported English or French as a language they spoke best were employed either when their residence or landing immigrant was granted or shortly thereafter.
If this makes the process sound racist, that is an accusation that can perhaps fairly be levelled at many Canadian employers. We are not excusing that but would like to try and explain it to you. We believe that most Canada are not racist on a one to one basis but are as racist as the next bunch in terms of stereotyping groups of people. Potential migrants must understand that generally, Canada who are old enough to be employers, largely grew up in a country that was effectively mono-cultural – read, English or French – and many are taking time to adapt to the new multi-cultural paradigm. Many are simply afraid of what might happen if they employed an engineer who has a name they cannot pronounce and who might have English as a second language. This frustrates immigrants beyond belief but it is reality that will take time to change and thankfully has begun changing in major centres like Toronto.
In our experience once a company has employed one immigrant they are usually keen on employing more.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has established a website which you may wish to visit. This is an attempt to put recently arrived migrants in touch with Canada employers who are happy to be dealing with migrants. You can go there now by clicking on http://www.occ.on.ca/
Is there any other way of finding a job?
Of course there is another way. Notwithstanding what we have said above while you are in Canada you will very quickly realise that people are friendly and helpful. Employers included! The more of them that you speak to about your difficulties the more doors will open as a consequence of our seeming genetic drive to help our fellow man. Someone who may not have been looking to fill a vacancy may just offer you a job – it happens a lot especially now given the skills shortages that exist. Many employers have given up wasting money on advertising in the print media or through consultants as the skills are simply not locally available.
What happens if you are offered a position while visiting Canada? What should you do then?
If you are offered the position you must understand that the employer is in all probability going to want you to start work immediately or within a few weeks. This creates problems.
The employer has made the offer, they want you to fill it, therefore flying home and handing in and working out your notice, selling your house, letting the children finish the term at school, packing up and flying back to Canada some months later with permanent residence may well not be an option as far as that employer is concerned. Obviously a starting date can be negotiated but again it is our experience that one of the reasons non residents are not offered jobs in many situations is because of their unavailability in the short term to take up the position offered.
You can increase your chances of success by being prepared to either:
1.remain in Canada and apply for a work permit while preparing and processing your residence papers, or
2.return home for perhaps 6-8 weeks to work out final notice and to give you (us) time to arrange a work visa for you.
If you were to decide on option “ii”, and you are married it is probable that you will then arrive back in Canada to take up that position on your own with your spouse staying behind to tidy everything up. This is stressful but it is a reality for many of our clients. In order to keep the job you have got to be here to do the job and that will cause many inconveniences and further strains along the way.
Having read this you may well be thinking that it is almost impossible but I can assure you that of those clients that we have given this advice to who speak fluent English and who come from English speaking countries, we estimate around 95% have actually obtained the offer of employment they require which has then lead to a successful conclusion to their residence application.
And under current policy settings many of you do not require job offers to gain residence.
The role of consultants in obtaining jobs:
Because statistically so many of you need jobs to get into Canada many immigration consultancies and lawyers and associated organisations have begun marketing their services to you which often include promises and guarantees of jobs and job offers.
We caution you most strongly to be very sure about what you are paying for in this regard in light of our experiences as outlined above. This consultancy alone receives innumerable complaints from people who have handed over thousands of dollars to offshore companies (and sometimes onshore companies here in Canada) who have all given the impression that they are able to find you jobs.
Be careful, be careful, be careful:
We are not suggesting that they all do not fulfil their promises and obligations but it is our belief based not only on our experience but our unofficial research into several companies offering this kind of service that success rates are nowhere near as high as many of them would have you believe.
Again however, we caution you that we are not suggesting that they are all unethical or unprofessional, but we are advising you to be sure to read the small print in the event that a job is not secured for you in regard to what refunds you may get or what recourse you have. Hand over your money only when you have something water tight in writing that you are happy with.
Hineni Media do not offer any direct job search or job placement service. We have done so after some years in the immigration publishing business based on our experiences in the realities of obtaining work for non residents in Canada. We will however, assist our clients as much as we can when seeking offers of employment before they are resident permit holders or after through subscription to our database. We are sure that the process that way is less complicated, less expensive, less difficult and stressful than perhaps you have contemplated to this point. You might as well be aware of that now.
Note and disclaimer: Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, e-mail, articles or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisement. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifiied and experience attorneys .
Marisol Diaz is an experienced workshop presenter, specialized information publisher, and a SOHO specialist. She also has been writing on Canada settlement and immigration law since 2006. contact her @ email@example.com. You can improve your Canada job search through the Canadian database for Int’l Employers or the Key Canadian Employer Directory , a Paid Content or Informational Services site run by Hineni Media.
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